Abercrombie & Kent: Five cinema-cations around the world

You may not have that look that Hollywood craves, but you still want to get close to the action, right? You want to touch the greatness that comes with being splashed across screens from coast to coast. Thanks to the latest concept from luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent, you don’t need talent. The latest “cinema-cation” packages send you to the locations where some of the hottest movies of the last year or so have been shot. There are enough options that you’ll definitely find something to match your personal style.

1. Sex and the City 2
After seeing this movie opening night on May 27, 2010, dash off to Morocco. A&K Group Managing Director George Morgan-Grenville was actually over there while movie was being filmed at the Amanjena Hotel and in the Djema el-Fna Square souks. The interiors and pool scenes, he says, were shot at the soon-to-open Mandarin Oriental Jnan Rahma and Palmeraie over in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Suggests Morgan Grenvile: “Take a camel ride at sunset and spend the night under the stars in a Bedouin-style tented camp surrounded by the largest sand dunes in the world.”

2. Eat , Pray, Love
Before going to see Eat, Pray, Love on August 13, 2010, check out the treasures of Northern India with this A&K Journey for Women. You’ll take apersonal journey with A&K guide Shagun Mohan, who says, “We spend time with local women at a bead-making workshop in the holy city of Varanasi, witness a spiritual Aarti ceremony on the Ganges at night, see the Taj Mahal at both sunrise and sunset, and visit Khajuraho’s Hindu temples. This kind of journey is a life-changing experience for almost anyone.” 3. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallow Part 1
Families can get a feel for Harry Potter‘s Great Britain ahead of the November 19, 2010 opening with the A&K Tailor Made Magical Great Britain package. According to Duncan Hambidge of A&K Europe, who has visited may Harry Potter film spots with his family, “One highlight for children is the Great Hall at Oxford University, Hogwart’s Dining Room. Another favorite is crossing the dramatic Glenfinnian Viaduct in the Western Highlands aboard The Royal Scotsman, the route taken by the Hogwart’s Express train in the Chambers of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Goblet of Fire.

4. The Hurt Locker
Last year’s Academy Award winner for Best Picture, The Hurt Locker captured the attention of audiences across the United States. A&K suggests following in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia if you’re looking for travel inspired by this movie. The A&K Extreme Adventures Jordan package is the way to go, led by Raed Omar Saleem.

Saleem’s been leading thrill-seeking visitors through Jordan since 1997 and recalls from a recent excursion, “In the middle of nowhere, we pitch our tents and gather around the campfire for dinner, recalling the hikes through ancient cities, the 4X4 treks and mountain climbs that brought us here. Without speaking of it, we all share the same sense of awe, the palpable sense that time passes through this desert yet barely seems to touch it. The moon-like landscape stretches to the mountains, bannered by multicolored striations in the rock. The smooth reddish sand is devoid of stones, and our camels’ toes rouse no dust as they thudded in their steady pace. There is no dust here in the valley of Wadi Rum, once a sea basin and later the place T.E. Lawrence found his calling. That is the beauty of the desert: it is nothing and everything.”

5. Creation: The True Story of Charles Darwin
Trace the history of life with the A&K Wonders of the Galapagos trip. Says A&K’s Ian Mackinnon, “The islands of the Galapagos offer an opportunity to interact with the natural world to a degree that’s virtually impossible anywhere else.”

He suggests, “Swim and snorkel with sea lions and turtles. Stroll past colonies of penguins and blue-footed boobies. Imagine yourself as Charles Darwin seeing a tortoise for the first time. Every island is unique; it’s no wonder Darwin was changed by his time there.”

I suggest: “Bring a creationist and ask constantly if he thinks dinosaurs walked the earth 5,000 years ago. Point and laugh.”

Indulge in a ‘Sex and the City 2’ themed evening on May 26

New York City won’t be sleeping on May 26th as Sex and the City 2 rolls into theaters at midnight. If you want to make a full evening extravaganza of the highly anticipated premiere, check out the SATC2 Midnight Movie Madness package from On Location Tours.

The May 26th NYC romp will begin at 6 PM with a Sex and the City Hotspots tour including a visit to the shop where Charlotte bought her Rabbit, a peek around the Meatpacking District and a cosmopolitan at the bar Aidan owned. Then, there will be a decadent dinner at Fresco by Scotto, followed by the screening, and after that? Admission into Marquee nightclub, definitely a Carrie-worthy destination.

Secretly, with over 40 stops, it’s also a really good way to get acquainted with a saucy side of NYC. Tickets are $179 and must be booked in advance, so call your mom or your girlfriends and start thinking about outfits. Visit the website for more information.

Yeah, then why don’t you and the Eiffel tower get a room!

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone when I say I “love” the Eiffel Tower – how can you not enjoy such a magnificent structure? The design, the sheer beauty of it, and the atmosphere around the tower in such an awesome city make it one of the most popular landmarks in the world.

But there are some people who take their love of the structure just a tad too far.

That is what Erika La Tour Eiffel has done. Not only did she “marry” the Eiffel tower, she actually has sex with it.

Let that sink in for a minute – this lady is so in love with the tower that she climbs it, and consummates her relationship with the Eiffel Tower.

These people are called “objectum sexuals” and their relationships are with objects instead of people. Another lady is so in love with the Golden Gate bridge that she sleeps with a piece of the bridge, and does stuff to it I don’t want to know about.

Click the read more link to see a documentary about these people, and to learn more about how deep their love goes for tourist attractions and other objects.

Watch Married To The Eiffel Tower [Part 1] | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

(Via: TV Carnage)

Bizarrely, this behavior is not against the law in France.

How safe is that romantic horse-drawn carriage anyway?

Last night, as I drove through downtown Cincinnati to take in the lights at Fountain Square, I passed several horse drawn carriages. Admittedly, they looked festive and romantic. I imagine that they are quite the tourist draw. Downtown Columbus has almost nothing going on at night. Cincinnati looks hopping. A horse drawn carriage might pep things up around the State House was my thinking.

Then a few hours later, after I arrived home, I caught a few minutes of a TV show about horse drawn carriages in New York City. They’ve been a fixture around Central Park as long as I can remember. Carriages have been featured in movies and have made it on TV. I’m thinking of that scene where Mr. Big took Carrie to the hospital to help deliver Miranda’s baby in Sex and the City. The horse lopped along transporting its star-crossed lovebirds through traffic. Therein lies the problem.

Everyone featured in the show about the horse-drawn carriages is against the carriages. One emergency medical technician talked about the hazards of trying to get emergency vehicles around them. Others talked about the medical issues horses have as a result of doing their jobs. Disaster stories where horses were hit by cars and died as a result of the accidents peppered the commentary. Also mentioned were the lack of safety features for passengers. There’s nothing holding passengers into the carriages, for example. One quick gallop down a busy avenue and you could be thrown out in no time.

A quick Google Search for info about the issues with horse carriages did turn up articles that address the same concerns covered in the show. As for me, I’m thinking about the cyclo and trishaw drivers in other parts of the world who have similar issues and hazards to their livelihood.

Although, I can see the point of the hazards of the carriages, on the other hand, they employ people and horses (horses need to have some way to get fed). The New York City carriages, according to this article I found, have been around as a business for 137 years. At the time of the article, there were 293 drivers and 220 horses who work in New York City. That’s a lot of carriage rides. I’m wondering about the percentage of accidents and incidents that actually happen. How many people have a lovely ride without any incident vs people who are not so lucky with their I Love New York experience?

If cities didn’t have carriages, I wonder how that would impact the economy of downtowns? Without carriages, downtown Cincinnati at night might look like Columbus. And what would happen to the Hollywood version of romance?

Sex and the City: You can catch up with a craze in the modern age

Sex and the City was the hot topic the summer between our two years living in Taiwan and our two years in India. I saw it once at a friend’s house when I stopped over in Albuquerque for a few days visit. I liked it, but nothing I couldn’t live without. I was jet-lagged anyway. Two years later, I saw one more episode. Friends we were visiting in Pochetello, Idaho had TiVoed it—something else that was new phenomenon in the U.S. cultural scene.

Five years after that, there I was last night with two of my women friends at the opening night Sex and the City event at Drexel East, one of the independent movie theaters in Columbus, Ohio. One friend was wearing a black dress. Since living overseas has made me totally out of tune with what to wear on many occasions, and I don’t travel in glamorous circles very often, I wasn’t paying attention to my attire. Plus, this was a back to back event–the first event was the end-of -the-year potluck at my son’s elementary school. With ten minutes in between the two, I had on a very nice T-shirt, black jeans and a pair of new shoes that fit into casual nice. Ooops.

I was all caught up with the Sex and the City storyline, however, thanks to videos and cable television. It used to be that living overseas meant huge chunks of popular culture were totally gone. It wasn’t a terrible loss, but there were movies I hadn’t seen, or events that happened in celebrity-ville that I wasn’t privy too. There were some conversations at parties I couldn’t join in. No loss really, but it was clear who had been living a life out of the American mainstream.

These days, it is not hard to stay caught up, or to catch up, even though people started miles before. When we lived in New Delhi, we rented Season 1, 2 and 3 of The Sopranos, and with each new season rented those too. Although, we weren’t where everyone else was who saw the series as it was unfolding, with the speed of being able to watch back to back episodes in a row at one sitting, it didn’t take long for us to be in the know of the latest whack job.

It is true that watching the TBS rerun version of Sex in the City is not the same as the HBO version, and at times it’s hard to keep the episodes in order as to what events happened first when one doesn’t start watching at the beginning, but last night I was caught up. It has taken five years, but I do know when it comes to Sex and the City what everyone is talking about, and I finally found out what a Cosmos is. As part of the event you could buy one.

Because I lived overseas during the Cosmos craze, I had a beer instead. It’s summer and I was hot. And, yes, I did like the movie. I think Manohla Dargis’s review in the New York Times is off the mark, although, I usually agree with this particular film critic.